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Penguins notebook: Tangradi happier in Winnipeg

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By Josh Yohe
Thursday, March 28, 2013, 8:42 p.m.

•Former Penguins left wing Eric Tangradi made his return to Consol Energy Center on Thursday, and he did so in a happier frame of mind than during his time with the Penguins.

Tangradi rarely saw regular time in the lineup in Pittsburgh but has been a regular for the Jets. He admitted Thursday that he never felt comfortable in the Penguins' lineup, as one mistake might lead to a benching. “When I first got traded,” Tangradi said, “I probably said some things that weren't real accurate as far as being on a short leash.”

Tangradi has produced just one goal and one assist in 22 games with the Jets but has been more of a physical presence than during his time with the Penguins. He said the move to Winnipeg was a good one for his career.

“I just needed to play every day,” he said. “That's what I've got now.”

• Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury did not dress against the Jets, though the Penguins believe he will be available for Saturday's game against the New York Islanders. Fleury is dealing with neck stiffness following a collision with teammateTyler Kennedy on Tuesday. Because Fleury did not dress, the Penguins recalled goaltender Jeff Zatkoff to play behindTomas Vokoun.

• Defenseman Deryk Engelland and center Dustin Jeffrey were healthy scratches against the Jets. Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo also was listed as a healthy scratch, though he is taking part in a conditioning assignment with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

• Former Penguins left wingKevin Stevens attended Thursday's game and received a warm ovation from the crowd when shown on the scoreboard.

­— Josh Yohe

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